Feb 19, 2013; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first basemanAllen Craig
(21) poses for a picture during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
If you’ve followed my blogs and listened to my podcasts, you’ll know that negative criticism regarding the St. Louis Cardinals is rare. Some of the issues I’ve disagreed with:
- The Cards’ handling of the Albert Pujols contract negotiations or lack thereof (Although I also feel Pujols has some blame in this)
- Benching Skip Schumaker most of the year and then trading him
- Trading Rick Ankiel in favor of Colby Rasmus in the outfield
And there are others but, I hope you see my point. That is why when I saw the Cardinals give Craig the 5 year deal, I was pleasantly surprised. So surprised, that I uttered the famous Die Hard phrase (in its entirety) while looking at our “former” first baseman’s picture.
So, I was kind of surprised and taken aback when I read a tweet from someone, criticizing the signing of Craig. In fact, I read a few tweets implying the Cards made a mistake in signing him to a five year deal due to his age. I myself am a firm believer in loyalty from players and the front office; and have grown very tired of the “just business” mantra. Professional sports of any type should be a combination of business and entertainment; and if you treat both with equal importance, the business side will make it worthwhile for both the owners, management and fans. And as a result, you keep good players for the long term; have a competitive team on a consistent basis and reasonable ticket prices.
I realize reasonable is a relative term but, I don’t mind paying a few extra dollars to take my family to the ball field; if I’m going to be seeing my favorite players for many years. Nor do I mind players getting “paid” if their performance is consistent and Craig has shown that consistency.
Craig has 150 runs batted in in 238 games. He was sixth in batting average last year with a .307, despite not playing his first game until May 1; due to offseason knee surgery. He also led the major leagues in batting average with runners in scoring position with a .400 batting average. Over the last two seasons, that batting average is .374.
So, when you look at his numbers and compare to other players in the major leagues, the Cards got a bargain. So, hats off to John Mozeliak; let’s hope he does the same with Adam Wainwright; and get our ace signed sooner than later.
Thanks for reading.